The shuffle feature on iTunes has a habit of reminding me of great albums I have not heard for a long time, I recently rediscovered ‘Milo Goes To College’ by the Descendents which is one of the best punk albums ever made. However the record is not the best value for money considering all 15 tracks are over within 23 minutes with only 3 tracks over 2 minutes on the whole album. I also recently rediscovered my two favourite punk albums of the 90’s (‘Underground Network’ by Anti-Flag and Rancid’s ‘…And Out Come The Wolves’) looking back on albums I loved as a teen made me wonder if taste in music is nature or nurture.
As a kid I listened to the music my Dad played me, luckily this was pretty good mostly the Clash, Jam and Stranglers all of which I still listen to now. My Uncle also had a huge influence with Lou Reed, The Specials, Velvet Underground and Ramones. As I grew up popularity influenced my music tastes, as most peoples Dad’s were older than mine Dad music was known to be shit so I didn’t want to disagree. When I was about 12 I went through a stage of listening to gansta rap mainly because my older cousin from USA was into it and I wanted to be ‘cool’ like him. After that my friends at the time who were all NME/Melody Maker readers had an influence on me and lead me to Indie, Steve Lamaaq and John Peel. Through this I discovered the Ska and Punk scene that was developing mainly through going to local gigs.
At this time I saw some of the best gigs I have ever seen with line ups I still dream about, my personal favourite was an all dayer featuring Captain Everything, Adequate Seven, Howards Alias and Kenisia. This gig blew me away so I pledged allegiance to Household Name Records and got myself to a barber for a Mohawk. As I grew older and wiser I realised that music was so broad it was crazy to stick to one genre and developed into the well rounded music snob I am now.
I often feel my music taste is superior and try to nurture people into listening to my favourite bands to mould them into better people. This musical arrogance tends to surface after a few pints but the thoughts are constantly at the back of my mind. I am lucky enough to have a sister who is 11 and as with my youth I want to be a positives influence on her musical choices. So when she realises that Dad music which she currently listens to is un-cool with her friends she can look to the ‘cool’ older brother for an escape from terrible pop music.
With this in mind to save her from the chart dance or any other rubbish I want to introduce her to the music I love genre by genre. I believe with any kind of music you have to start from the beginning or at least include the influential old stuff. For example what would a ska compilation be without the specials or punk without the Clash.